Recent electrophysiological studies have revealed anomalies in the oscillatory activity in the Basal Ganglia (BG)-cortex loop in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD); namely the activity in the beta band (~20Hz) presents an excessive synchronization that might contribute to some behavioral symptoms. Interestingly, recent work has demonstrated that the synchronization in the BG and their cortical projections is 1) diminished by treatments such as dopaminergic medication (L-Dopa) or deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (NST), and 2) modulated in relation to movement-error processes.
We propose a traineeship in which the Master student will participate in a project in which we study the relationship between the behavioral deficits and the electrophysiological anomalies observed in PD patients in tasks involving motor adaptation to visual or mechanical perturbations. We record EEG activity in patients with PD and healthy controls while they perform motor tasks interacting with a robotic device (Kinarm-Lab, http://www.bkintechnologies.com/bkin-products/kinarm-exoskeleton-lab/).
Do not hesitate to contact me for more detailed information about the project.